Review: The Outlands by Tyler Edwards | Found Family and a Resonant MC Personal Voice packed into a Dystopia

Hello friends! I’m yet again breaking my hiatus to bring to you a review of this short dystopia that I enjoyed :”). Life’s been truly hectic and demanding this season, give me time to get back to comments and posts, but do let me know how you all are doing okay!

THE OUTLANDS by Tyler Edwards

Genre(s): Science Fiction | Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Outlands #1

Published: 14 December 2020 | Read: 17 April 2021
No. of Pages: 452

In the ruins of the world that was lies the city of Dios, a haven protected from the hostile environment known as The Outlands. Ruled by an oppressive Patriarch, the people of Dios are conditioned in fear. The smallest infraction could result in banishment to the Outlands, a fate worse than death.

With his make-shift family of “Undesirables”, Jett Lasting struggles to find his place in a world where drawing attention to yourself can get you killed. His very existence is considered a crime. To survive, he must avoid guards, beggar gangs, and an ever-growing tension that could drag the whole city into chaos.

Jett unwittingly becomes entwined in a plot to overthrow the government where his choices could lead to freedom or the death of everyone he’s ever known or cared about.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thank you to the author: Tyler Edwards for providing me a review copy in exchange for a sincere review.

Review

The Outlands follows Jett and his friends who have been labelled as “Undesirables” by society and henceforth are left to survive on their own, looked down upon and deprived. They then become entangled in a rebellion effort against the government, and the rest is history.

Boldness plus ignorance is a dangerous kind of foolishness.

  • A light, science fiction/ dystopia read. One of the things that I truly enjoyed about the Outlands was its post-apocalyptic setting, with your typical societal class differences, oppressive government… but I appreciated the development of the various forms of technology as well as religion inside this city of Dios.
  • Jett’s POV was truly well written. He has such a strong personal character voice, filled with all his dilemmas, hopes and regrets, sometimes with notes of levity, and others with serious reflections… and through his perspective, the morally grey element, as well as the emotional core of this story, shone through and I simply loved getting to understand this driven and visionary boy we were journeying with.
  • The whole gang – #foundfamilygoals. Throw in a found family, and the book automatically has my love. Okay I’m being dramatic but in no way hyperbolic. Found family is bae and The Outlands delivered another ragtag group I couldn’t help but root for. The conflicting personalities, deep-rooted relationships because of common history, banter and friendships, tick tick tick, Jett, Victor, Spike and all the rest were all well weaved into the story and into each other’s lives.

Just like that, I am a thief no longer. I am the voice of a revolution.

  • Not as relevant to the story, but what I found the most heartening was how open and upfront the author was to criticism from us readers, there were remarks about female characters not having time to shine and portrayed as damsels in distress, and various other comments pertaining to the original version, Tyler actually took them into account and added 17,000 words to the story to make changes ASAP instead of waiting till book 2 which I thought was very receptive and thoughtful of him. (see his review here)
  • I felt that the pacing was pretty off, and the sequence of events. I couldn’t identify why until I saw another review on Goodreads which were 100% my sentiments that there was a bit of double introduction of some side-soon-to-be-main characters which was puzzling. Furthermore, there were a couple of anti-climatic parts which were effective at building up the tension and suspense, but afterwards became repetitive and a tad bit irksome.
  • The romance sigh. There has to be a day where the romance does not end up as a woe in 9 out of the 10 books that I read, hasn’t there? Well, The Outlands did have some brilliant characterisation but the romance flopped. I was wincing a little and experiencing extreme second-hand embarrassment as well as frustration at the rapid development. It truly put a damper on the story.

Unity comes from a diverse people who work together for a common goal. Uniformity comes from everyone trying to be the same. Unity makes us strong. Uniformity makes us sheep—sheep who are docile, easy to control.

  • Overall, The Outlands was an action-packed, immersive read with a great dystopian core with brilliant characters (let me shout one last time: FOUND FAMILY), through such a realistic lens of our protagonist. Truly enjoyed the ride!

rating // ★★★

How’s everyone doing? How does The Outlands sound? What was the last dystopia you read?

19 thoughts on “Review: The Outlands by Tyler Edwards | Found Family and a Resonant MC Personal Voice packed into a Dystopia

    1. I improved the pacing in the now active version and massively improved the female characters. Becka went from…getting mentioned in passing 4 times, to being my favorite character in book 1. But the romance bit is still…well, I definitely didn’t get that down, thankfully it’s a very tiny piece of the story.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the book and share your thoughts. It’s so wonderfully helpful and encouraging. Version 2 does a lot to address most the issues you had, though it still doesn’t fix the romance angle (improves a bit but doesn’t fix). Might have a been a bad concept; I was aiming for the awkwardness and clumsiness of that “first love” and had plans to move things in a different direction in subsequent books to avoid the cliche love triangle. But sometimes things don’t work, because they weren’t a great idea to begin with 😂😂😂. I digress, I’ve made some notes from your thoughts and I think they will help me improve the quality of book 2. I can’t thank you or express my appreciation enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my pleasure, thank you for reaching out Tyler, I truly enjoyed the story! Ah I see thank you for explaining, the awkwardness of the “first love” was definitely felt, and I do appreciate how it was to steer from a love triangle, I think a lot of readers are bored of those already hehe. The romance wasn’t the best honestly but ah it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story that much! I’m truly happy to hear that, and I’ll definitely be anticipating book 2 after that ending! 😌 Thank you for the comment! 🤗

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  2. omg hi cherelle! you’re back again! i’ve never heard of the outlands before, but it sounds really good! and also found family makes me want to read it haha! i’m not a huge fan of dystopian novels, but i think i might try this one out. omg – it’s so great that the author paid attention to your criticism and feedback, and then adjusted the story, and i hope the romance gets better, because i can’t stand bad romance either lmao. lovely review as always! 💓💓

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahaana!! Ah so sorry I’m sporadically popping back into the blogosphere, apologies for the late reply! Yes another fond family dieheart ❤️❤️ Truly the way that this author listened to feedback and intentionally made changes to an already published book is so heartening! Thank you so much! 😌💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review Cherelle! I recently started this book but haven’t gotten around to finishing it yet 🥲 From what I’ve read so far, the setting looks really unique and Victor and Jett’s relationship is so heart-warming! Ooh I’m thrilled to hear the found family was on point for you — I’m really looking forward to seeing where these characters go. And aww I love that the author immediately altered the book in response to readers’ feedback!! We love to see authors taking constructive criticism without getting defensive 👏

    Again, lovely review, Cherelle!! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did think about shaming all the reviewers who gave me 5-star ratings for not re-inventing the rating system and describing my book as “Better than Perfect” but…it seems like someone was already doing that and I didn’t want to be cliche 😂😂😂😂
      Also, isn’t constructive criticism how we grow as story-tellers? Or did I miss that in “Get offended 101”?😜😜😜

      Liked by 2 people

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